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3 weeks ago

Pokémon Go goes live in Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, and more Asian countries

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Developer Niantic Labs has once again expanded the reach of its hugely popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go. It has officially gone live in 15 Asian countries, including Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore.

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3 weeks ago

Essential accessories for Moto Z

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Essential accessories for the Moto Z Droid

What are the best accessories for the Moto Z Droid?

The Moto Z Droid was only just released, but it's never too early to start looking at must-have accessories for Motorola's latest flagship. Here are a few that we think are worth your money.

Moto Style Shells

Moto Style Shells

Moto Style Shells are the solution to when you want to change the look and feel of your Moto Z on the fly — they just snap on to the back of the phone and magnets hold them in place. You can quite literally have a day look and a night look for your phone if you feel like it.

As of this writing, the shells come in three textures, fabric, faux wood, and leather, with six varieties to choose from, including crimson ballistic fabric, washed oak, black leather, and more.

Just don't rely on them to provide much protection, since they don't cover the phone's edges — they just cover the back. That being said, they do keep the phone's back from heating up too much.

See at Motorola

Tudia TPU Bumper Shock Absorption case

Tudia TPU Shock Absorption case

The Tudia TPU Bumper Shock Absorption case is not going to give you much protection from drops, but its flexible TPU composition will give you something to hold on to, which is a good thing because the Moto Z Droid is an exceptionally thin phone.

It comes in clear, as well as several other colors, so whether you just want some extra protection that you can wrap around one of the Moto Style Shells without covering it up, or you want a different look, you have options.

If you're not looking for heavy-duty protection and/or you want a clear case that shows off your Moto Z Droid Style Shell, try the Tudia TPU Bumper Shock Absorption case.

See at Amazon


NXET USB-C Charge Dock

NXET USB-C Charging Dock

If you're tired of having to fuss with USB cables everywhere, then the NXET USB-C Charge Dock is for you. It doesn't take up much space on your desk, or wherever you typically charge your Moto Z Droid, and since it's USB-C, it will work right out of the box without the need for adapters.

While charging, your Moto Z Droid will remain totally accessible, so you can swipe through your notifications, check the time, or play some tunes one-handed. It also lets you place your phone at three different angles, so you can always find the most comfortable view for you.

It is important to note that the NXET USB-C Charging Dock does not support fast charging, nor is it a wireless charger; however, it's a great option if you have limited space. It also supports USB 2.0 transfer speeds when connected to your computer.

See at Amazon


Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Moto Z Droid does not have a headphone jack. While it does have a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, having to lug around another cord that you can easily lose is less than ideal; a much better solution is to use Bluetooth headphones.

Featuring top-notch sound, an impressive battery life, best-in-class active noise cancellation, and extended listening comfort, you can't do better than the Bose QuietComfort 35 for Bluetooth headphones.

The QC-35 can last up to 20 hours on a single charge, so you can keep listening all day without worrying about your headphones dying out on you, and what's more, its Active EQ adjusts tone and balance automatically so that regardless of the volume, you'll hear every sound with almost no distortion.

See at Amazon

Moto Mods

Moto Mods are Moto Z add-ons that add to or enhance the functionality of the Moto Z phones. They are very easy to install and use: just snap them onto to the back of the Moto Z — that's it. They're held in place by magnets, so mounting and dismounting them is simply a matter of breaking the magnetic seal. There are three Moto Mods as of launch-day: The JBL SoundBoost Speaker, Moto Insta-Share Projector, and the Incipio offGRID Power Pack.

JBL SoundBoost Speaker

JBL SoundBoost

One of the three initial Moto Mods available for the Moto Z Droid, the JBL SoundBoost Speaker snaps onto the back of the phone and turns it into a miniature boombox. Yes, party like it's 1989, but without the acid-washed jeans, big hair, and bulky stereo.

With its two speakers pumping out sound at 3W each, you'll be banging your head and bopping to the beat with no distortion, and with its built-in battery, you can enjoy your tunes for an extra 10 hours. The best thing? You don't have to worry about pairing or setting these up: just snap the speaker mod into the back of your phone and listen.

Grab a JBL SoundBoost Speaker if you like to rock your tunes without headphones, or if you want to pump out the jams at home or anywhere. We won't judge if you bring out your (or your parents') old parachute pants or bangle-bracelets.

See at Motorola

Moto Insta-share Projector

Moto Insta-Share Projector

When you want to share those photographs of your last vacation to Disney World or your expedition to Chichen Itza with your cousins, you can pop on the Moto Insta-Share Projector, another Moto Mod and voilá! You have a 70-inch projector that transforms any flat surface into a gigantic screen.

It really is that simple to use: just snap it into place, aim it at an available wall, and you've got a huge screen on which to display photos or watch Netflix. The kickstand it comes with can adjust to any angle, so you can position the screen however you like. You'll also love the additional hour of projection time you get before the Insta-Share Projector starts using your phone's battery.

Whether you want to share pictures at a family get-together, or you want to watch the latest blockbuster on Netflix with friends, the Moto Insta-Share Projector is a must-have accessory for your Moto Z.

See at Motorola

Incipio offGRID Power Pack

Incipio offGrid Power Pack

As our own Phil Nickinson said in our review of the Moto Z, the Incipio OffGRID Power Pack is the Moto Mod that he would buy right away. According to him, it's well worth the money for that extra bit of juice.

The 2,220 mAh battery pack boosts the life of the phone by up to 22 hours and comes in designer options from Kate Spade New York and TUMI. I don't think Phil gives a hoot about that, but you might care about that sort of thing. There is also one that will recharge wirelessly.

Just go out and get the Incipio offGRID Power Pack. You won't regret it.

See at Motorola


We want to know what you think

We've shared our favorite accessories for the Moto Z, but what about you? Let us know in the comments below!

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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3 weeks ago

MrMobile gets his first Chromebook

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As someone who edits video on a Mac and writes scripts on a Pixel C, I've never paid Chromebooks much mind. They always seemed too spartan, too reliant on a constant connection to the internet, so I basically ignored the entire category.

That is, until a few months ago. When the news broke that Chromebook shipments had eclipsed those of the Mac for the first time, it got my attention. Even if many of those units went to education and corporate customers, that was a whole lot of Chromebooks – so I started wondering what was I missing out on. If I were still a college student (or if I were as frugal as I should be) could I use a Chromebook on the daily?

I spent a few days with the ASUS Chromebook Flip to get a taste of what using ChromeOS was like. What I found was that it's not for me – I'll stick with the Pixel C for my convertible needs – but that it might be a perfect fit for an alternate-universe me who's just now shipping off to school. Check out my first Chromebook experience ... and if you have one, let me know what you use yours for!

Socialize!

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3 weeks ago

The top 6 tweaks you need to make on your Huawei or Honor phone

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Huawei P9

Essential tweaks to make EMUI more friendly and useful.

Huawei's EMUI software — used on its own phones, and handsets sold under the "Honor" brand — has improved a lot over the past year. But even in its most polished form, the current EMUI 4.1 release still has its quirks. If you're used to the way Android looks and works on Google or Samsung-designed phones, there are a few things you'll want to tweak to get things looking just right. And at the same time, EMUI doesn't always make it easy to discover some of its most useful custom features.

That's why we've put together a list of the first few things you should tweak on your new Huawei or Honor phone.

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3 weeks ago

Android Central 300: Galaxy Note 7 Special!

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Audio-only stream below

This week, a huge milestone, a new Galaxy Note 7, and some Nougat nuggets.

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3 weeks ago

Grab this compact waterproof Bluetooth speaker for $11 right now!

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Right now, Vtin is offering its waterproof Bluetooth speaker for just $11 with a coupon code at Amazon, a savings of $9. Whether you are looking for a speaker to take on the boat, near the pool or even in the shower, this is worth considering. It's powerful 5W driver will offer high-quality audio, and with its 800mAh battery you should get around 8 hours of playback per charge.

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3 weeks ago

Pokémon Go: How to choose the best eggs to incubate!

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You need to know which egg to incubate.

One of the more exercise-focused aspects of Pokémon Go is hatching eggs. Each egg has a distance meter next to it, and when you put that egg in an incubator it becomes active. When you walk the distance marked on the egg while playing the game, the egg will hatch and you'll get a brand new Pokémon with a bunch of Pokémon Candy for that creature.

The difficult thing here isn't the walking, it's choosing which egg to incubate next. You only get one incubator with unlimited uses, and every other incubator — whether purchased or received from a level up — has a three use limit. The best way to choose which eggs go in which incubator is to know which Pokémon are in the egg to begin with. While there's no what to know exactly which creature is in your specific egg, here's a list of Pokémon and the egg types they show up in.

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3 weeks ago

Pokémon Go's battery-hogging ways doubled external battery pack sales

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Pokémon Go has helped to double the sales of external battery packs in the U.S., according to a new report from the NPD Group.

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3 weeks ago

Best replacement bands for Samsung Gear S2

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Which are the best replacement bands for the Gear S2?

When it comes to smartwatches, the Samsung Gear S2 stands out as a fantastic device, even if it isn't Android Wear. One of it's biggest pulls is that it's a fairly small, and stylish computer for your wrist. What if you aren't a big fan of the watch bands that come with it, or if those bands break?

Thankfully, there are options if you need to replace your Gear S2's watch bands. While you could take a waltz through the internet to search them out, we've put together the best watch band replacements for your Gear S2. Just keep scrolling to check them out.

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3 weeks ago

Best cases for Moto Z Force

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Best Moto Z Force Droid cases

What are the best cases you can get today for the Moto Z Force Droid Edition?

The Moto Z Force Droid Edition was just recently released, but that's not going to stop you from getting a case that's perfect for your new phone. And it needs a case; the Moto Z Force is less than 7mm thick and it's on the slippery side. A good case, paired with the Moto ShatterShield that's exclusive to the Moto Z Force, will keep your phone safe and ding-free for a long time. We'll update our list once the phone's been in your hands for a little while, but for now, we have some excellent contenders for best cases.

Moto Style Shell

Moto Style Shells

The Moto Style Shell is a magnetic attachment, just like the Moto Mods, that snaps onto the back of your Moto Z Force. They're an easy add-on to your pre-order and they range in price from roughly $20 to $25.

These shells come in fabric, wood, and leather options that add a little extra texture to the back of your phone, and they offer some protection for the raised camera edges. They also help to keep fingerprints and other gunk off of your nice new hardware, and dissipate the heat that has been known to radiate from the back of the Moto Z Force.

The downfall of the Moto Style Shell is that none of the shells wrap around the edges of the phone, they only protect the back. The ShatterShield will do its part to protect the Moto Z Force from drops and bumps, but you may want some extra protection for the rest of the body. Nonetheless, these shells do offer a unique look for your Moto Z Force and won't add any bulk to the slim frame.

See at Motorola

PLESON ultra slim crystal clear case

PLESON ultra slim crystal clear case

To show off the hardware of your Moto Z Force, a clear case is the perfect choice. This is especially true if you decided to go for the white and fine gold or black and rose gold combinations that are just too beautiful to hide.

The PLESON ultra slim crystal clear case is ideal for keeping the phone's slim profile while adding on some grip and drop protection. The soft TPU bumper offers raised edges and corner protection to keep the screen and camera extra safe when you're having a busy day or a clumsy moment, and the precise cutouts don't sacrifice ports or button usage.

The clear case from PLESON is also anti-watermark and anti-fingerprint so you won't get that foggy, muddied look on your case over time.

See at Amazon

LK ultra scratch resistant protective case

LK ultra scratch resistant protective case

Add a touch of something formal or fanciful to your Moto Z Force with a scratch resistant case from LK. The five color varieties are on the inexpensive side; grab more than one and have a case that matches every occasion! The solid black version pictured here goes with everything.

The smooth, flexible TPU case easily snaps on and off when you're looking to pop on one of the Moto Mods. The button covers (rather than cutouts) are responsive and provide some extra protection against daily dust and dirt. The non-slip TPU won't let your phone go sliding off of an uneven surface, either.

LK's protective case also resists stains and marks that are bound to happen during your day or night, so it'll last you for as long as you need it.

See at Amazon

Cimo shockproof heavy duty case

Cimo shockproof heavy duty case

Planning on being a little hard on your brand new Moto Z Force? Whether it's a rough commute or you just plan on being outdoorsy and unpredictable, the Cimo shockproof heavy duty case should be in your case repertoire.

The dual layer shock and drop protection is paired with a textured back surface that provides lots of extra grip without adding a ton of weight and bulk to the phone; just enough for some added padding. Unlike a lot of cases, Cimo's offers a cutout for the back speakers so sound won't be compromised a bit during those spontaneous dance parties you're always throwing (or is that just us?). The raised bezels front and back protect the screen and the camera to boot.

For a more rugged and sporty look for your Moto Z Force, Cimo is a great pick. You can also grab it in seven different colors, like the armor gray pictured here.

See at Amazon

LK luxury wallet flip case

LK luxury wallet flip case

You usually grab your phone and your wallet when you head out the door, right? Get a case for your Moto Z Force that carries the phone, some cash, and three credit cards with the LK luxury wallet flip case. The synthetic leather comes in five colors, from the sleek and subtle black to the vibrant sky blue pictured here. The magnetic closure is secure and the TPU inner shell is shock resistant, covering the edges and corners of the Moto Z Force.

LK's wallet case also folds into a sturdy kickstand for hands-free operating. You'll still have access to all the buttons and ports, including your camera, without removing your phone.

See at Amazon

Which one's for you?

Which case do you have ready and waiting for your new Moto Z Force? Shout it out in the comments below.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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3 weeks ago

Get your bad guy on with these Suicide Squad themes!

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'Don't forget: we're the bad guys.'

We've featured themes for a lot of good guys, from Iron Man and Spider-Man to Batman and Superman to Deadpool — "I'm no hero!" Get out, Wade! — but it's good to be bad sometimes, too! And while we all prepare to let our bad selves out attending a Suicide Squad screening, we can put some of that delicious badness on our home screen.

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3 weeks ago

Verizon is taking online orders for the HTC Desire 530

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Verizon Wireless is the latest carrier in the U.S. to sell the HTC Desire 530. Orders are being taken at Verizon's website and the phone will also be available in its retail stores starting on August 11.

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3 weeks ago

How to fix Nexus 5X battery life problems

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How do I improve battery life in the Nexus 5X?

While the 2,700mAh battery in LG's Nexus 5X can get you through the day on a single charge, depending on usage, we think you can probably get a little bit more out of it by making a few simple changes.

1. Turn off Ambient Display

Ambient Display is a feature that sends notifications to your screen when it's locked. It's useful to see what's going without having to unlock your phone's screen, but it does consume battery power.

To turn this feature off, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Ambient Display switch to off.

2. Mind your Bluetooth

Smartwatches are great and we love them, but you should be aware that they consume more battery than Ambient Display does. If you know that you need extra power, leave your smartwatch at home that day.

The same goes for fitness trackers, speakers, car audio systems, and just about anything else with a Bluetooth connection. When in doubt, disable Bluetooth!.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to off.

3. Lower your screen's brightness setting

The Nexus 5X has a beautiful 5.2-inch inch full HD LCD display that hits that sweet spot for size but is one of the most battery-intensive features of the phone.

Dial down how much battery your Nexus 5X's screen draws by decreasing the brightness level a few notches:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap on Brightness level.
  4. Tap and drag the brightness bar to your desired level.

Alternatively, you can let Adaptive brightness manage the brightness level of your screen based on the amount of ambient light available:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Adaptive brightness switch to on.

Nexus 5X

4. Limit or turn off Location Services

Google's Location Services is useful for helping you get around town and some apps, such as Foursquare and Twitter, use it to determine your location as well. However helpful Location Services is, it can take a huge chunk out of your battery, especially when using GPS.

Location Services has three modes: High accuracy, Battery saving, and Device only. High accuracy uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile network information to find your position, Power saving uses just Wi-Fi and mobile network information, while Device only uses only GPS. Of the three, the most power hungry modes are High accuracy and Device only.

If you need some form of location services on, choose Battery saving — it won't be as accurate, but it will save on battery. For the most power savings, turn off Location Services altogether. If you choose to turn off Location Services, some apps that rely on it may not function properly — just something to be aware of.

You can find all of these settings under Location in your Nexus 5X's Settings menu:

  1. Tap Location.
  2. Tap Mode to pull up the Location mode screen. From there tap the option of your choice:
    • High accuracy
    • Battery saving
    • Device only

To turn Location Services off, simply toggle the switch to off at the top of the screen.

5. Check apps' battery usage

Android keeps tabs on how much battery every app on your phone consumes and it's simple to check:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Battery.

Here you'll see a breakdown by app of how much battery they consume as a percentage of total battery use.

Video streaming services and games naturally will use more battery than others, but if something else is hogging the battery when it shouldn't be, you'll see it here.

6. Avoid streaming video

The Nexus 5X loses power more quickly when streaming video. If you can, download any video content you plan to watch to your device and watch it locally.

Here's how you can download content for offline viewing in Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Play Movies and TV app from your Home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Menu button. It looks like this ☰.
  3. Tap My library.
  4. Tap the Download button next to the content you'd like to watch offline.

That's it. Now the content will download to your device and be available to watch any time you'd like, no internet connection necessary.

How about you?

We've given you some tips on how you can eek out a few more hours of life from your Nexus 5X's battery, but what about you? What do you do to make your battery last longer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more information on the LG Nexus 5X? Have a peek at our review.

Nexus 5X

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